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DeSantis Director Confirms Migrant Flight Program Still in Place; Report Hints When Blue States Should Expect the New Arrivals

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Though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis faced criticism for his decision to transport immigrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, in September, Florida still has more plans to continue transporting migrants to northern states.

Florida has not transported any more migrants since it chartered the flights for 49 people from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard on Sept. 14, the Wall Street Journal reported.

But according to a representative for DeSantis and communications from a contractor, Florida state officials do have plans to send more migrants north, the Journal added.

There are reports that these transportations may take place in December, according to the Journal.

The plans for sending migrants out of Florida have seemingly been in place for some time, according to CNN.

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CNN requested access to public records from Florida and reported that the documents they obtained revealed that DeSantis had plans to send “approximately 100 or more” migrants to Delaware and Illinois in the time between Sept. 19 and Oct. 3.

Those relocation plans seemed to have been postponed, the Associated Press reported.

But according to the records, the contractor that Florida officials hired for the transportation needs, extended the time until Dec. 1, the AP reported based on memos from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The AP reported that the transportation of migrants in the Sept. 19 to Oct. 3 window was meant to follow up the initial relocation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, but that the focus on Hurricane Ian and its aftermath shifted plans.

Should DeSantis continue these flights?

“While Florida has had all hands on deck responding to our catastrophic hurricane, the immigration relocation program remains active,” Taryn Fenske, the governor’s communications director, wrote in an email, according to the AP.

According to CNN’s investigation of the records concerning the migrant transportation, Florida paid the contractor, Vertol Systems, more than $1.6 million for the services of relocating migrants to Delaware and Illinois.

However, James Montgomerie, the chief executive of Vertol Systems, has not commented on the situation, the Journal reported.

Though the flights to Illinois and Delaware did not take place, flight plans from San Antonio, Texas, to Delaware were filed with the Federal Aviation Administration, CNN reported.

DeSantis’s tactics regarding migrant relocation also come after Florida approved a $12 million budget to relocate illegal immigrants from Florida to other places in the U.S. earlier in the year, the AP reported.

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The money for that budget item allegedly came from interest earned from the federal funding that Florida received under the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, the AP added.

DeSantis has not made any comments about future plans for relocating migrants.

Meanwhile, there are still ongoing lawsuits concerning the initial transportation of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, the Journal reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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